Merlin Mann

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Merlin Dean Mann III
Born (1966-11-26) November 26, 1966 (age 49)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Occupation Writer, blogger, podcaster
Nationality American

Merlin Dean Mann III (born November 26, 1966 in Cincinnati, Ohio) wrote[a] the blog 43 Folders.

Early life and education[edit]

Mann received a B.A. from New College of Florida in Sarasota.[1]



Mann is the founder and writer of 43 Folders,[2] a blog about "finding the time and attention to do your best creative work."

On August 18, 2009, Mann announced[3] that he was writing a book, since canceled,[citation needed] titled Inbox Zero, about "how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life."

Mann also writes for his personal blog, Kung Fu Grippe. In the past, Mann has written articles for Macworld,[4] Make,[5] and Popular Science.[6]


As a companion to the 43 Folders blog, Mann launched the sporadically-published 43 Folders podcast in 2005.

In 2007, Mann, Adam Lisagor, and Scott Simpson launched You Look Nice Today, a comedy podcast that bills itself as "a journal of emotional hygiene."[7]

Mann has also produced QPR: Quotidian Public Radio, an audio podcast launched in January 2009 that is billed as "audio comfort food for annoyed liberals in fleece." Previously, Mann was one of the hosts on the MacBreak video podcast and a core host on the MacBreak Weekly audio podcast. Since 2008, he has scaled back his appearances on the series.

Since January 18, 2011, he has co-hosted the weekly Back to Work podcast with Dan Benjamin on 5by5. They talk about subjects like productivity,[8] work life,[9] and true costs of doing business.[10]

In September 2011, Mann launched Roderick on the Line, a weekly conversation with musician/writer John Roderick.

In May 2015, Mann and technology blogger Jim Dalrymple started The Dalrymple Report podcast.[11]

In June 2015, Mann began a 10 podcast series with John Siracusa in collaboration with Relay FM called Reconcilable Differences, which has since been extended indefinitely.

In the past, Mann appeared on other podcasts, including the CBC radio show–podcast Spark; The ProfHacker Podcast; Scruffy Thinking; CMD+SPACE; and various episodes of Dan Benjamin's The Conversation.[12]


In early 2009, Mann produced a short video series, Most Days.

On February 26, 2007, Mann launched The Merlin Show, a video podcast primarily dedicated to long-form interviews.

Mann has also published a long-running series of video shorts named That Phone Guy.

Other work[edit]

Mann has been described as the "inventor" of the Hipster PDA,[2] a paper-based, DIY personal organizer that uses design cues found in David Allen's Getting Things Done.

Mann is also known for his work with Quicksilver, a program used for quickly executing actions from the keyboard in Mac OS X, along with The Omni Group's OmniFocus.

Mann was a member of the indie rock band Bacon Ray from 1994 to 1999 in Tallahassee, Florida.[13] Additionally, he started a cover song project of Will Oldham's song "I Am a Cinematographer."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Mann resides in San Francisco, California with his wife Madeline and their daughter Eleanor.

In 2008, Mann started treatment for attention deficit disorder, something which he says helped his focus.[2] He occasionally talks about his experiences with ADHD on his Back to Work podcast on the 5by5 network.


  1. ^ As of April 2015, the blog 43 Folders was last updated in October 2011.


  1. ^ Merlin Mann Official Bio
  2. ^ a b c Anderson, Sam. "In Defense of Distraction". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "I'm Writing A Book"
  4. ^ Mann, Merlin. "The Inbox Makeover". Macworld. Mac Publishing LLC. 
  5. ^ Mann, Merlin. "Life Hacks". O'Reilly Media, Inc. 
  6. ^ Mann, Merlin. "Ask A Geek". Popular Science. Bonnier Corporation. 
  7. ^ 43 Folders: "The Monthly Pimp: January '09 Edition"
  8. ^ "Picture of a Boat", Back to Work, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin
  9. ^ "Vocational Wheel", Back to Work, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin
  10. ^ "Walk the Coastline, Bitches", Back To Work, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin
  11. ^ "The Dalrymple Report Podcast". The Loop. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  12. ^ The Conversation - Merlin Mann
  13. ^ Bacon Ray | Rock Music
  14. ^ I am a Cinematographer Power Pop Cover Project

External links[edit]